Monday, June 29, 2015

This week in the kitchen

Monday/29-Jun-15: Stopped at Spar this morning to get sugar and a box of pectin. Used my last 3.5# of apricots to start Apricot Preserves (FancyPant, p114), using some apricot kernels. I cut my apricots in eighths instead of quarters, and they're going to macerate overnight. We'll see how it goes tomorrow. The freezer is going to be full of apricot jam. Too bad Ed doesn't really like it

Dinner was a half recipe of Pollo de la Plancha—Grilled Chicken Breasts (web). Pretty good (even without the cilantro), easy, and fast. Served with the Apricot-Haberno Salsa, yummy. More black bean salad, which was especially good with the salsa. And the green bean-radish dish we didn't eat last Friday. Fruit juice popsicles for dessert.

Tuesday/30-Jun-15: Electricity problems starting in the night. Looks like our washing machine has a short. New one on order. Might take more than a week to arrive.

Dinner was Pasta with Tuna & Lemon Sauce (web), which was easy and fast. The sauce is uncooked, just tossed with the pasta, and uses stuff that's usually in-house, so it's a good one to save. Then a salad. That was all.

Finished off the apricot jam from FancyPant. Can't say I followed the instructions all that carefully, and they didn't really work either. (Straining the syrup from the fruit in a sieve. Nah. Even a colander didn't work well.) Added a cinnamon stick for the last bit of boiling. Finger licking good. Set up well without pectin, with which I'm now well-supplied. I just need fruit and more jars.

Wednesday/1-Jul-15: Nothing happened in the kitchen today, since we were out all day. The dishwasher didn't even get emptied.

Thursday/2-Jul-15: The heat wave continues, although it's a teeny bit cooler today. Didn't make it to the market.

Dinner was Broccoli with Spicy Tahini (web). This might be meant as a side dish, but I served the whole recipe over brown rice and called it dinner for two. Tossed the steamed broccoli with the sauce before serving. Remarkably satisfying for something so simple. For dessert with had some of the galette we bought yesterday topped with melon ice cream.

Friday/3-Jul-15: Off to have my haircut this morning. Then a quick lunch and off to shop. Don't recommend shopping late on Friday. The store was full, but so many checkout counters were open that there were no lines.

Dinner was a halfish recipe of Pasta Salad with Tapenade & Veggies (p44, PatSalads). A pretty good salad. Ed thought that eggplant fingers might be good instead of green beans. (Boiled eggplant fingers?) Quick and tasty, nice on a hot day. Bought a 4-pack of almost out-of-date caramel semolina puddings and we had a pair of those for dessert.

Another ant invasion. This time on the peninsula. Sigh.

Saturday/4-Jul-15: I hate hot, have I said that before. Thunderstorms this morning and early afternoon. Didn't help much. House has lost its cool. Good bless the bedroom a/c.

There have been some ants around, but not as bad as yesterday. Knock wood.

When I asked for a thick bit of swordfish steak yesterday, I got enough for a full recipe of Spicy Mustard Swordfish and Artichoke Kabobs (web), and indeed it would serve four as advertised. Put the bits on to marinate this morning.

We started with an insalata caprese with one coeur de boeuf tomato, almost seedless, and one regular tomato for me. Some nice mozzarella and some basil. Yum.

Then the kabobs, grilled outside thanks to Ed, served with a half recipe of Quinoa Pilaf (web), unremarkable. For dessert there were two Individual Peach upside-Down Cakes (web), a half recipe, easy and tasty, served with some vanilla ice cream.

We are counting underwear to see if we'll make it to the projected washing machine delivery time. If it's delayed, we'll have to make a stop at a laundromat. Ed took the old machine to the dump today.

Sunday/5-Jul-15: Still hot, maybe a bit less today, but back in force tomorrow.

For lunch I made Toast with Avocado, Fried Eggs, and Soy Sauce (web). Quite tasty and easy. Could be breakfast too, I suppose.

In the afternoon I made Hideg Kapros Tokleves—Cold Cream-of-Squash Soup (p24, TLMelting) and put it in the fridge to chill. We ate it after a concert. A very nice tasty, cold soup. Just enough potato to thicken it, but not enough to give an earthy taste that would be too much on a hot summer day.

Having a thought about stopping with this blog and keeping my recipe list elsewhere. Even started copying into Calendar. But there's no formatting there, and I miss things like the pages. Have to think further about this. Maybe just an RTF file would do with extra files for the pages. We'll see.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: yes; #2 UNUSED: yes; #3 GRAINS: yes; #4 VEG/FISH: 5
This month: #5 PASTA: yes for June, no for July; #6 BREAD: no for June, no for July  #7 yes for June; no for July

Monday, June 22, 2015

This week in the kitchen

Monday/23-Jun-15: Dinner was a 20-minute supper, Shrimp & Greens Curry (web), easy and quite tasty. I planned this because there has been bok choy in the shops lately. But not this week, so I used  spinach instead. Served over rice. Some yummy little apple tartlettes from the boulanergie for dessert.

Tuesday/24-Jun-15: A friend whose wife is away for a week came for lunch today. We bbq'd Grilled Lime-Marinated Flank Steak with Chipotle-Honey Sauce (Thrill, p141; cookbooker). French cows don't have flanks, so I used bavettes instead (no idea what those might be in English). The sauce (with slightly less honey than asked) was scrumptious. Schlesinger and Willoughby recommend serving this with Black Bean Salad (Thrill, p319) and Corn Bread Salad with Lime Juice and Cilantro (Thrill, p312), so I did. These are so much alike, it really wasn't a good suggestion, I think. I've made the black bean salad before; it was still good. The corn bread salad was ok. Might have been a bit better if my corn bread had risen properly; this is where I discovered my unexpired baking powder was dead. Neil brought some Nutella chocolate brownies with ginger for dessert and I made some easy vanilla ice cream. No more food needed for the day.

Wednesday/25-Jun-15: We ate at the marché des producteurs in La Roche this evening. Nothing happened in the kitchen,

Thursday/26-Jun-15: Went up to the Montemboeuf market this morning to see what I could find, and stopped at the butcher for some nice pork chops. Since we're changing shopping day to Friday, I hope to visit the market more often.

Dinner was, yes, grilled pork chops, topped with the yummy sauce from Tuesday. Then some potatoes, loosely based on Crash Hot Potatoes (web). (I drizzled with a mix of olive oil, harissa, sale, sesame seed, and lemon juice.) And some of the combined black bean and corn bread salads. Mixed the rest of the sauce into this for future use.

Friday/27-Jun-15: Shopping today. During which we learned lots of people buy fish on Friday. I walked away from a line with two people in front of me, only to come back to a line with six people in front of me. Sigh. But, they had samphire/salicorne/zeekraal.

So I changed the menu and made Roergebakken Zalm met Zeekraal en Knoflook (which I got in a newsletter from, but can only find online here); that's Stir-fried Salmon with Samphire and Garlic. Served over tagliatelle. I hadn't realized that there was enough samphire to call that this a one-dish meal, so I also made a quarter recipe of Green Beans and Radishes Braised in Orange Juice (web). I took a bite of this, but the rest is in the fridge for another night, maybe as a salad. Two squares of dark chocolate with almonds for after. (Dark chocolate with hazelnnuts, my favorite, seems to be out these days.)

Saturday/28-Jun-15: Not much happened in the kitchen today. We had dinner at the Fête de la Motte in the evening.

Sunday/29-Jun-15: Starting to deal with the flat of apricots I bought on Friday. Made a half recipe of Apricot Habernero Salsa (p72, PutEmFruit) which made less that expected. Tasted pretty good

We had our main meal in the early afternoon: Ricotta-Zucchini Pasta Salad (web). Surprisingly tasty for as easy as it was. Then a salad. Then some fruit juice popsicles.

Another 2kg of apricot's going for Fatima's Confiture d'Abricots, the one with almonds, except I had an inventory failure and there were no sliced almonds. And, yes, well, I bought the apricots to make jam, but forgot to buy extra sugar. We're now more or less out. Guess I'll have to stop somewhere tomorrow to get more so I can finish off the last batch of apricots. Eight AH jars from this batch into the freezer.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: yes; #2 UNUSED: yes; #3 GRAINS: yes; #4 VEG/FISH: 3
This month: #5 PASTA: yes; #6 BREAD: no; #7 FotW: no for June

Monday, June 15, 2015

This week in the kitchen

Monday/15-Jun-15: Dinner was tagliatelle with a half dose of Pasta with Fresh Fava Bean Sauce (web). Pretty good stuff. Then a salad. That was all.

Tuesday/16-Jun-15: Dinner was Smoked Salmon Potato Leek Torta (web). It was good. We ate half of it and considered eating more, but decided against it. Then a salad. Then some squares of chocolate with almonds. That was all.

Wednesday/17-Jun-15: We lunched in Périgueux today with a high school friend of Ed. (They were valedictorian and salutatorian.) Carrots and fruit and toetjes from the boulangerie for dinner. (We skipped dessert at lunchtime.)

Thursday/18-Jun-15: Ed discovered that one of his best buddies from high school died yesterday unexpectedly. A shock.

Clear-out-the-fridge pizza for dinner tonight. Zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli. That was all. Used a whole jar of roasted red bell peppers to make the tomato-free pizza sauce and froze two batches of it.

Friday/19-Jun-15: Did our shopping today rather than Wednesday. It wasn't too crowded (just after noon) and their was a good selection of veggies. Think we'll change our regular day to Friday now. Maybe this will give me a bit of impetus to go to the Thursday market in Montemboeuf too.

There was spitskool in the veggie section today, but it seemed to be without a label, so I don't know what it's called in French. Or in English for that matter. A pointy cabbage. Possibly my favorite cabbage.

Dinner was Mojito-Marinated Swordfish with Avocado Chopped Salad (web). Kind of so-so. The swordfish was good, as it is, but the salad should have been better. Radishes rather than celery, for one thing—a prettier crunch; or maybe some chopped, seeded cuke. Served with polenta. For dessert some riz au lait from the shop, a good brand but we both thought it a trifle too sweet.

Saturday/20-Jun-15: Leftover salmon-potato tart for dinner, with a salad. Then off to see a friend's band play. It's some kind of music weekend around here. Bands are playing everywhere.

Sunday/21-Jun-15: Made some cornbread today (to crumble and dry for Tuesday's meal) only to discover my baking soda, that expires in September this year, is dead. An open package of French leveure chimique that expired in 2007, fizzed like made when tested. Why?

Dinner was half of the "One Arabian Night" meal from RushHour tonight. That included Eggplant-Couscous Rolls (p92, RushHour), Carrot Salad with Cumin (p93, RushHour), and Gingered Peach Gratin (p94, RushHour). I used some of my non-tomato pizza sauce instead of spaghetti sauce. The carrot salad was good, as this kind of thing is. I served the peaches with a scoop of vanilla ice cream (don't tell Eating Well, please) and it was extra yummy. The cookbook provides a timeline for the meal, so you can work steadily through and have the meal ready in 45 minutes or so. This is the second meal I've made from it and we've been pleased with both.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 UNUSED: yes; #3 GRAINS: yes; #4 VEG/FISH: 6
This month: #5 PASTA: yes; #6 BREAD: no; #7 FotW: yes for May; no for June

Monday, June 8, 2015

This week in the kitchen

Monday/8-Jun-15: Dinner was a half dose of Chicken Liver Pilaf with Pistachios, a recipe from the UK Country Living magazine; found it here on the web. It was okay, nothing special. Followed by a big salad.

Put the chicken on to marinate for tomorrow's dinner, which will involve two livers that I saved out. Curious to see how this works.

Tuesday/9-Jun-15: Dinner was Crispy Chicken with Preserved Lemon and Olives Mqquali (Morocco, p305) with Crushed Spiced Carrot Salad (Morocco, p78) and plain whole-wheat couscous. The chicken was the first thing I've cooked in my beautiful blue Emile Henry tajine. The breast meat was surprising dry, something I didn't expect when essentially braising. The sauce was tasty, though, with the smashed up livers. Have made the carrot salad a couple of times. Then some double chocolate mini magnums for dessert.

Wednesday/10-Jun-15: Shopping today. Bought some yogurt since yogurt maker is not working quite right and I still haven't managed to get in touch with the vendor.

Dinner was Mustard-Glazed Salmon with Roasted Cauliflower (CL dec14); web). The article has the fish served with Buttery Lentils with Shallots, easy and a nice accompaniment. Trying to use up the veggie backlog in the fridge, there was also French Bean Salad (web), which was quite good. For after there was Easy Melon Ice Cream (web), using up the melon we bought last week and never ate.

Thursday/11-Jun-15: Ate out tonight. Nothing happened in the kitchen.

Friday/12-Jun-15: Dinner was a half dose Channing Way Shrimp Curry (ComfortMe, p158). The whole recipe should serve six, and might have; there was quite a bit of sauce left. It was good and spicy, though, served over brown rice. Served with some steamed asparagus and the leftover sauce from the French Bean Salad. Followed by a rather plain salad.

Saturday/13-Jun-15: Started a pot of chicken stock. So many bones in the freezer, I didn't use them all. After tonight's dinner, I'll probably have enough to make another batch.

Leftover chicken for dinner. With trio rice and some grilled zucchini. Double chocolate mini magnums for dessert since I forgot again to get the melon ice cream out.

Sunday/14-Jun-15: Froze 12 cups of chicken stock today.

Ed's choir was singing today, so I put on a crockpot, a half recipe of Easy Crockpot Chicken Fajitas (web). Luckily I had some taco seasoning already made up, because I couldn't find the recipe I use. Oops. I added some lime juice to the veggies. That turned out to be a really nice touch. Served with grated cheese and some guacamole. When we got home I made some corn tortillas. We were full, but had a spoonful of melon ice cream each to finish off.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 UNUSED: yes; #3 GRAINS: yes; #4 VEG/FISH: 2
This month: #5 PASTA: yes; #6 BREAD: no; #7 FotW: yes for May; no for June

Monday, June 1, 2015

This week in the kitchen

Monday/1-Jun-15: Dinner was Goat Cheese, Chive, and Chili Pepper Sauce for Pasta (MarCuc, p167). Such an easy, tasty, fast dinner. Except for the soft goat cheese, everything in house. Followed by a big salad.

Tuesday/2-Jun-15: Off to Saumur today.

Wednesday/3-Jun-15: Another day in Saumur.

Thursday/4-Jun-15: Home again. Ed to choir practice. Me to shop at Intermarché. Not our regular shop, but will do in a pinch. We're not happy with Leclerc, where we usually shop, and vaguely looking for a replacement. Intermarché ain't it either.

Dinner was Apricot Dijon Glazed Salmon (web). Cooked it under the broiler rather than in the oven; this worked fine. Very good. Served with trio rice and steamed broccoli. Dessert from the boulagerie.

Friday/5-Jun-15: Dinner started out to be a recipe from Jamie magazine (not to be found online), Cumin & Yoghurt Roast Chicken, wherein marinated thighs are roasted on top of carrots and parsnips. Yogurt was the basis of the marinade, which I didn't note since we've usually got yogurt on hand. I used creme fraiche with extra lemon juice instead. In the end, we decide to barbecue the thighs rather than bake them. Served with corn on the cob and orzo. For after, some Citrus-Poached Pears from the same article.

Saturday/6-Jun-15: Fresh pasta tonight, yes! With Zucchini and Thyme Pasta Sauce (MarCuc, p162). Then a big salad. Then we shared our last magnum classic.

Sunday/7-Jun-15: Dinner was Easy Egg Curry with Urad Dal and Tamarind (web). Really yummy stuff. Can't say it was all that easy, but it wasn't hard. Used this method to steam the hard-boiled eggs, very successful. Served with plain rice and Stir-Fried Cauliflower (IndLight, p179), which was ok, a bit plain, but easy.

Progress on goals
This week: #1 BACKLOG: no; #2 UNUSED: no; #3 GRAINS: yes; #4 VEG/FISH: 4
This month: #5 PASTA: yes; #6 BREAD: no; #7 FotW: yes for May, no for June